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This was great, Jay. I was drawn in by that first line.

I'm fascinated by how different history can be. It can be an act of great labour - for example, the paleontologist sifting through the earth, looking for clues and then piecing them together. But it can also be driven by imagination and vision, as in the great narratives histories.

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Beautiful.

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"And the long train of mind of the single organism, looking back in its several individual instances upon itself, to recognize itself, flashed with self-knowledge." I suppose if I have any beliefs anymore, it is something like this. That we are all but flowering individual buds growing off of and fed by the same underground rhizome. Thank you for sharing this wonderful post. I read not long ago Mary Leakey's autobiography and found it fascinating to live for the time I was reading it with the mind that toiled fruitlessly (not altogether of course but for long stretches) for so long to uncover connections between present and past.

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